After suffering a hard blow late in the final quarter, Apopka quaterback Zack Darlington will stick around in South Carolina for the night as a pre-caution.
During the August 24 game versus Byrnes (SC), the University of Nebraska verbal committed player was knocked over as he attempted to heave a pass for a touchdown in the final seconds of the game. The quarterback was taken off the field on a stretcher to another field where a helicopter landed and rushed him to a nearby hospital. Darlington was administered oxygen while on the field and as he was taken off on the stretcher.
Tiffany Greene of Bright House Sports Network, who has been traveling with the Apopka team during this road-trip, spoke with Apopka Athletic Director Fred Priest who informed her “Darlington suffered a concussion, but is responsive and in good spirits.”
Priest told Greene the cat scan came back negative; however, Darlington will be kept over night as a pre-caution. The team bus has to return to Orlando tonight, but Darlington’s family and “a few teammates” will remain in South Carolina tonight, according to Greene.
This is Darlington’s second concussion in three months, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He suffered a concussion during a conditioning drill earlier this summer the paper reports.
In more great news, Greene says that Priest informed her ESPN will be footing the bill for both the hotel and plane tickets for the Darlington family.
Greene says that when one of the assistant coaches told the team on the bus ride home about Darlington’s condition, “the mood shifted very quickly.” Some guys were asleep she said, but the bus full of teenage boys turned into a bus full of a “lively bunch [of] teenage boys.”
Darlington’s brother Ty, a center for the University of Oklahoma, tweeted out “Just want to let everyone know I’ve been in touch with my brother and he is fine (considering the circumstances). Thanks for the support!”
He later tweeted to another user that the situation was “just a bad scare.”
Apopka lost the game, their first official game of the season, by a score of 51-36. The game was nationally televised by ESPN.
The defending Class 8A state champions will host Oak Ridge on Friday night.